Apple to catch up on AI at WWDC ’24

Smartphone maker expected to focus on bringing generative AI capabilities to its customers

Next week marks the biggest annual event for Apple and its developers, with WWDC – the Worldwide Developers’ Conference – kicking off on Monday. Traditionally the time for the company to unveil the newest software that will soon come to its iPads, iPhones and Macs, it is the high point of the Apple calendar.

And by all accounts, this year will be a big one for the company. With many big technology companies focusing on artificial intelligence (AI), it is widely expected that Apple will unveil new tools and features for its platforms that will bring more of the new generative AI capabilities to customers.

“We expect that most features showcased at WWDC will be things we’ve seen before, with examples including a host of improvements to photo editing and optimisation, transcription and translation tools, deeper integration of AI into automatic responses to messages and chat tools, and improvements to a suite of apps including Apple Music, Fitness and Health to make them feel more personalised,” said CCS Insight’s Ben Wood.

“This might sound very similar to what we’ve seen from other smartphone makers in recent months. The difference is that Apple’s strength in storytelling may leave consumers with the impression that it has created these ‘new’ capabilities rather than just catching up with Samsung and others.”

One other difference may be in how these services are delivered. While many companies have turned to cloud-based tools, Apple is expected to emphasise security and privacy, drawing a comparison between its approach and that of its rivals.

Regardless, Apple needs to make a statement on AI and its future plans at WWDC.

“At a time when AI is transcending the tech industry, Apple is arguably on the back foot for the first time in a while,” said Woods. “However, the company is no laggard and we expect it to come out fighting as it seeks to demonstrate how it can use AI to deliver meaningful improvements to its apps and services.”

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